How is it the stars can align to bring a future pet therapist and handler into the same orbit?
So it was, when Charlie, a stray beagle/shepherd mix turned up in the crowded SPCA shelter in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. A few hours away, in Halifax, Kim Allen and her children were readying themselves to adopt a dog, five years after losing their cherished 14 year old dog… and this despite the request of their neighbour. He’d asked that they never get another dog, so great was his terror of them.
One day Kim and her kids went to the Halifax SPCA shelter to walk dogs, as they did regularly. There was only one dog in the shelter, the beagle/shepherd boy who’d been transferred from the Yarmouth shelter. But Kim wasn’t looking for a beagle/shepherd dog. The shelter staff just had a feeling that whoever took that dog for a walk would adopt him. And how right they were. Charlie, the friendly, affectionate, lover of everyone – including other animals – became the new member of the Allen family. More than that, however, Charlie, the only dog left, became an “incredible” therapy dog.
Charlie, in his red Therapeutic Paws of Canada vest, and Kim regularly visit two nursing homes and have attended several schools so Charlie can spread his love and affection. Kim says she gets as much out of the visits as the people they visit.
And the neighbour? The one who was so fearful of dogs he begged Kim not to bring another one home? Charlie won him over. Now the neighbour owns a dog, too. How wondrous the alignment of stars.